DOES Thailand need a submarine?
The above question was raised by the opposition Puea Thai Party in response to the Royal Thai Navy’s plan to buy its first submarine from China for 13,400 million baht (about 446 million US dollars).
Puea Thai MP Anusorn Iamsa-ard today cited three main reasons for the party’s opposition to the planned purchase.
Firstly, Thailand has not had any major armed conflict with any country since the end of World War Two.
Secondly, the Gulf of Thailand is too shallow for a submarine to evade detection from an enemy warship.
Thirdly, the Thai government is grappling with a budget deficit. The submarine purchase will only aggravate the country’s foreign debt.
The government and the Royal Thai Navy have not responded to the MP’s query.
Top: A submarine heads out to sea from US naval base in San Diego. Note the heavily armed Naval Security gunboat circling the sub to keep unauthorized vessels away. Photo: Bill Morrow (CC-BY-2.0)
By Songpol Kaopatumtip